Tuesday, March 31, 2015

three years ago--happy pills

I somewhat forgot about this blog, or at least forgot how much I love to write. Below you will find my first post in literally YEARS, as well as a flashback to 2012.


it has been three months or so since this blog has shown any signs of life. it's been a busy few months, or at least it has seemed like a busy three months. today, i am feeling...blah. just blah. a few months ago... i honestly cannot remember when, i went to the doctor. i had known for a long time that i was depressed. but being depressed was my baseline. what i was feeling when i walked into the doctor was far below my baseline. there were a few times in the past year when i have scared myself with just how much below my baseline i was.

i decided that it was time. time to face the demons that were fast becoming my life. time to call it quits with the depression. so, one day i walked into the doctors office. i signed in, made small talk with the receptionist i knew and eventually walked back to the room. as soon as the doctor walked in, i began to cry. i told him that i felt like i was depressed. we talked for a bit, he gave me a self assessment and the reality of the situation began to set in. i filled out the assessment, anxious that it would prove i was not depressed enough to need treatment. anxious that it would show i was just being dramatic. anxious it would show that i was just weak. just anxious. i wanted answers and i wanted help.

what the self assessment showed was that i was beyond significantly depressed. my doctor said "wow, that's an impressive score" when he returned. i was relieved. relieved that i was not imagining things. relieved to be validated in my belief that something was NOT right. relieved to be able to point to a chemical imbalance, rather than some innate character flaw, for the way i had been feeling. i left the office with lots of medically and psychologically sound advice (which i won't go into here. it was a long doctor visit) and with a prescription for antidepressants.

i have been leery to write about this. i am all too aware of the stigmas attached to those "happy pills". just a few weeks ago, i sat in an institute class and listened to a (uninformed and obviously inexperienced) guy talk about how anyone who is feeling depressed can fix it with a stronger devotion to God. he felt like he had solved the mystery of depression through his own brain power and logic and was very happy to share his discovery. i felt like i was listening to tom cruise lecture about antidepressants. thankfully, the teacher has lived long enough and experienced enough of life to know that this belief was untrue. when he let the other student know how wrong he was, i was relieved. i did not feel like i had to defend myself; i was very happy to let the teacher do that (though i am sure he did not know he was doing as much).

did the antidepressants end up being happy pills for me? probably for about the first week or two. i think that i was so used to being so low, the pills gave me a high of sorts. i was still depressed by normal people standards, but it was such a drastic change from where i had been, it seemed like the world was my own personal oyster.

today, i am still on the antidepressants, though my hope is to wean myself off them eventually and find other ways to keep my brain all balanced-chemically speaking. on antidepressants (after my body got used to them and leveled out) i have to work for things and work to be happy and content, but i feel like that is how life should be. if we want anything in life, we should have to work toward it. the effort put in should be equivalent to the reward we expect out of it.

the biggest difference between now and a few months ago is that everyday tasks like getting out of bed and going to work or school are no longer crippling prospects. depression sucks. depression is truly debilitating. anyone who says otherwise has yet to experience a "chemical imbalance" first hand. depression doesn't make you want to crawl under a rock. it is an enormous rock on your chest that you are incapable of crawling out from under.

i am so grateful for the miracle that is modern medicine today. a few months ago, my life was unbearable. i am here today because, through divine inspiration, antidepressants exist. i am here today because i walked into a doctor's office a broken person and walked out with some happy pills.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Election 2012

Well, another presidential election has come and gone. Another election that demonstrated I am a member of the political minority. If the election can be trusted, the majority of America is shifting away from the ideals I cherish.

I have had a love-hate relationship with facebook over the past couple days. Tuesday, I couldn't handle all the people telling me not only to vote, but who and what to vote for. Wednesday, I couldn't handle all the hate-filled posts (mostly in reference to our president). Thursday, I couldn't handle all the "last political post, I promise" posts. Though it stressed me out, facebook this week has been like a train wreck that I couldn't look away from. Rather than post any more on facebook about the election, I have decided to post here, in my little corner of the internet, how I feel.

Immediately after the election was called, I felt a pit in my stomach. A feeling of dread came over me and my mind began racing with all the catastrophic things this would absolutely mean: For sure, the second coming is near; it's a sign of the times. America as I know it is gone. Our economy will collapse. Wars and rumors of wars will result. I will lose my job, be fined for not having insurance, nothing will get done for the next 4 years. The country will lie in shambles. Literally every ridiculous fear possible raced through my mind. I wish it had been a sprinting race, but this race was more like Nascar; hundreds of laps around my brain. I struggled to get to sleep Tuesday night, even though I had work Wednesday morning at 6. I was an emotional mess. Frantic and anxious.

There came a moment when my rational mind stepped in for a minute and began to back pedal on all of the crazy. A moment of peace. It was after I read a press release from the Church of Jesus Christ if Latter-day Saints (my church). It said (I'm definitely paraphrasing. I am much too lazy to look it up on my phone) "the LDS church has a longstanding tradition of praying for the leader of our country. Pray for President Obama." or something similar. That press release stopped the crazy race in my brain in it's tracks. I thought of my president as a human for the first time that night. He was no longer the epitome of all that it's wrong in this country and every political scare tactic around. He became again the human leader of my country. A man, trying his best, who could definitely use my prayers. I remembered the respect POTUS had always had in my head (I guess not always; just back when it was a president I agreed with) and became determined to renew that respect, regardless of where my vote had been cast.

For 4 years now, I have justified my disdain for my president. I have hidden behind his policies and used them as an excuse to hate the man he is. I have been a poor sport. It took a press release from my church to humble me and drag me back to reality.

Did the candidate I voted for win? No. Am I leaving America in a huff? Not unless its for a cruise I just won. Do I have misgivings about the next 4 years? You betcha. Do I believe our country could have used a businessman at the helm? More than ever. However, at the bottom of a cliff, it doesn't matter if you were pushed or jumped. I lost. Or I should say my chosen candidate lost. I wish I had been able to accept it as gracefully as he did.

The election is over. The game is done. It's back to business. America is going through a rough time. My country is struggling. I regardless of all the politicking and drama, I live in the greatest country in the world. I am blessed to be a part of the democratic process. I am grateful to be able to voice my opinion. I am grateful that I have so much. I know there are people who have so much less.

So, world wide web, if you are still reading this, drop a prayer for my president. Drop one for us all.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


so, i posted 30 posts in july. then i posted zero posts in august. now, it's almost halfway through september and this post makes my count one. not bad, i think! 

i have been thinking a lot lately about my life. for most of my life, any time i would sit down and assess, i would get super discouraged. i would get frustrated that things are not going according to "plan" or angry that i am not where i "thought i'd to be", or disappointed that i am not doing what i "should". no matter what the specific frustration, the discovery i make is the same: i am in no way content with my life. in fact, usually it goes beyond not being content, and falls into i hate my life territory.

the other day, i was hanging out with a friend (shocking that i did that, i know) and talking about changes she is making in her life, ways she is finding to get to where she wants to be in life. that made me think about what changes i want to make in my life, too. i am realizing that i have very high expectations for myself. not only that, i punish myself a lot when i do not meet those expectations.

it is becoming more apparent to me that my life has been like a broken record. i set an unattainable expectation for myself. i do not attain it (duh). i beat myself up. i set an even higher expectation, or i give up altogether. rinse and repeat. the only change is the specific expectation. the formula never changes. rather than stay stuck in this ridiculous cycle, i have decided to change it. i don't like beating myself up for doing something that, in anyone else, i would recognize as unattainable. i don't like seeing myself as a failure when i make mistakes or fall short. i am rambling, i know, but that is ok with me right now. i just need to spit out all of what is in my head. otherwise, it will drive me crazy. do you ever feel that way? like you just need to spit everything out? just throw it out to the world? just get it out of your head?

one thing i also realized after talking to my friend was that my life has been incredibly blessed. i have had the opportunity to have amazing jobs, to work with all sorts of people. i have had the chance to travel; something that is out of reach for a lot of people in the world. i have the opportunity to have a family and a home; to have a support system and cheerleaders. i have a job that i adore right now. i have a body that allows me movement and the ability to accomplish anything i need to do. i have teeth that have held up pretty well for not being to a dentist in years. i have modern medicine that allows me a metabolism (did you know that in high school, my thyroid was 3x normal size, and the medications they gave me to slow it down did not help. thus, my heart was also working 3x normal, and would eventually kill me. so, i had to have radiation on my thyroid to kill it. now, i take hormone replacements for my missing thyroid) i have the gospel in my life (even though that is one huge area where i am hardest on myself when i am not perfect) i have the skills and help to overcome the bouts of depression that has plagued my life for as long as i knew what it was. i have a car to get me where i need to go, and a bus system that can take me most places if i need. i could go on and on. i could type all day, but i think i have proven my point.

i live a charmed life. maybe outsiders don't see it that way. maybe they do. but, i am realizing more and more that it is true. i know that this knowledge is relatively new. i know that right now, my life is like a pendulum and i have swung to the far side; to the happy side. because it's a pendulum, i am sure that i will make my way back to the other side; the sad side. but, i also know that there will be a huge period in the middle where i am neither extremely happy nor extremely sad. the part where i can just be content.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

thoughts on the day

5 years ago today, i wrote down some thoughts on my day. it was the day after my grandma had died, and my world was in chaos. sometimes, i think that chaos still has not left me, but i also think that chaos can be a good thing. i think that strength pokes its head out of chaos. it smiles a cheeky grin and continues doing its thing.

strength is a really odd thing. it does not follow a normal patter of existence. it needs chaos and destruction to really flourish. it is the random flower that survives a nuclear blast; the tree that pops up when nothing should be growing. strength is...a fighter.

i have had the song the fighter stuck in my head for weeks now. just off and on, but stuck nonetheless. it's just such a profound song in my mind. i want to be known as the fighter. no matter what the world throws at me, i want to have the strength to do it. i know that i can do hard. it's a proven fact by now. here are some of my favorite lines of the song:

Give em hell, turn their heads Gonna live life til we're dead.  
Give me scars, give me pain  
Then they'll say to me, say to me, say to me 
There goes a fighter, there goes a fighter 
Here comes a fighter  
That's what they'll say to me, say to me Say to me, 
this one's a fighter

no matter what the world throws at me, i want to say to it that i am a fighter. i want the world to chant that to me; to know, just like i am coming to know, that i can do hard things. that i am a fighter.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

thirty is the new 20

list 10 things you would hope to be remembered for

i would hope first of all to be remembered as loving. i love so deeply for people, but i am really bad at sharing my love, or expressing my love. this is something i want to work on, so i hope that when my time comes, my family remembers me as loving. i hope that, if they remember nothing else, it is that i love them.

i hope to be remembered as patient. i almost hate to say it, because the only way i know to learn patience is
waiting and "longsuffering". but, i have innate patience with some stuff. i hope to be able to improve it more and build my patience. at the same time, i hope to build my patience without ever having it tested, and i hope to be allowed to pick and choose the patience building exercises i am given. :)

i want to be remembered as full of life and fun. i want to always be young at heart and never lose the desire to have fun. as a rickety, nearing-the-grave 26 year old, i sometimes forget to stop and have fun. i want to always have fun. i don't care how old i am, life is not really worth living if it is no fun!

i want to be remembered as the crazy aunt/mom/wife who traveled the world. i don't want to be remembered as the one who traveled once upon a time, but the traveler. the one who has already been there, who you ask advice about restaurants and hotels and currency. the one who can share her knowledge with all around her. the one with a lifetime full of stories, and not enough lifetimes to tell them all. the one who can interject "once, in bali" into any conversation, and people listen cause she's legit. she's literally been around the world.

i want to be remembered as faithful. i want to be remembered as an example of the believers. one who knows with a surety and who constantly acts on her knowledge and who raises righteous sons and daughters who know with the same surety. 

this one is similar, but not entirely the same. i want to be remembered as Christ-like. i want to be remembered as a disciple of Christ, a true follower. one who emulated Christ in everything i could, from my thoughts to my actions.

i want to be remembered as intelligent. not just book smart. not just street smart. but intelligent. i am not sure exactly how to define intelligent so it makes sense, but to me intelligence is more than smart. it is more than knowledge, but it is the reasoning and judgement and intuition as well. intelligence is also acceptance and open-mindedness; not just a knowledge of facts and figures. it is knowledge + wisdom. i think that's a good way to put it.

i want to be remembered as trustworthy. someone who does what she says and says what she does. someone with follow through, not the flaky friend who always falls through at the last minute. (maybe that's me now. what of it??)

i want to be remembered for my confidence and my self worth. i think those two things are very tangible parts of a person, and others can sense them.

i guess more than anything, i just want to be remembered. it kind of goes along with what i think is most misunderstood about me but i want people to remember me. preferably, who i really am. but, i will take any kind of remembrance over forgetting.

as i near the 5 year blogiversary of my blog, this last one has been on my mind a lot. in the beginning, i blogged because i had so many emotions about my grandma dying that i needed to throw them out to the world. some small part of me hoped that the world would catch them, and somewhere out there, one person sharing this planet with me would say "aah, i understand". some part of me hoped to find a kindred spirit; someone who understood exactly what it is like to be latu. exactly why my life has led me to where i am today.

another part of me hoped that the world would catch my words and spit them back. it hoped that the personal words, feelings and experiences i was writing about would just stay around me, huddled together in a mass that made up my world. for no one's eyes but mine. it hoped that my personal thoughts would stay that; personal.

throughout the 5 years i have had this blog, the level of personal thoughts i share has fluctuated. sometimes, my bluntness surprises me and i remove an entry. i allow it to sit in the limbo that is the draft folder until the rest of forever. safely tucked away from the wandering eyes of the world. sometimes, i throw it all out to the world, and watch from the crack in my fingers with bated breath, waiting for the world's reaction. it is never as dramatic as i hope for.

the bottom line is that this blog will live on for a long time. maybe beyond the point where blogger exists. maybe beyond the internet. this blog has been my outlet for the past 5 years, and now that i have gone blog, i won't go back (that line sounded a lot funnier in my mind, haha)

twenty nine, one more till the big 3-0

what do you think people misunderstand most about you?

omg, definitely my motives. usually, i have good motives, or at least not evil ones. i am usually trying my best, and if i am rude, i do not mean to. if i offend you, i do not mean to. this one is so hard to explain because i play it off a lot like i don't care if i am rude, but the truth is that i do. i am harder on myself than anyone else can be, so it really disappoints me when i am rude or when i hurt someone. even if i am mad at you, i hate when i am mean to people. (i think i talked once before about my inability to stay mad)

but, i am getting off subject. i feel like people generally misinterpret my motives. whether for bad or good, they usually do not get it. a lot of times, it is frustrating for me to try to explain them, and so i don't, but it sucks being misunderstood. especially when my silence often backs up whatever the other person already thinks is truth.

the bottom lines is that for the most part, my motives and intentions are pure. even if they bite me in the butt or they don't pan out the way i thought they would, my heart is pure. please trust that and don't make assumptions.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Twenty eight in two years

What is your love language?

My love language is... I can't remember, haha. I am going to go take the quiz again.

Quality time and words of affirmation (plus one more but I forgot what...) All three were tied. I think like the rest of my life, I am indecisive, haha.